Hwy 395: Mono Lake

I wish I could post more pictures from the drive up Hwy 395 to Tahoe but I was "under the weather"; and slept most of the trip. T took some good shot and I will try to add those when I get them.<

For now I am bundled up with a book and fireplace in South Lake Tahoe listening to the wind howl outside. It is supposed to snow tomorrow. I am looking forward to my first white Christmas.


Farmers' Find: Satsuma Tangerines

Do you remember that first crush? How your heart would beat faster and your eyes sparkle at the sight of him (or her). I have a diluted reaction like that when I find certain things at the Farmers' Market. Satsuma tangerines do that to me.

I found them two weeks ago and braved horrendous rain storms to visit the farmers' market this week just to get some more. Let's start with the first really great thing about them, they are SO EASY to peel. I can keep the peel completely connected when I peel one. They are not too juicy, i.e. messy, but they taste like they should be. I eat at least three of these a day when they are in season. Not too sweet, not too much pucker. They are a little piece of summer on the tongue. My heart beats faster at the thought of them.


I have sprouts in my square foot garden!

We are still in slab leak construction and have not slept at our house in three weeks, but I have baby kale and lettuce coming up in my square foot garden. I am very excited about that.


Flooring update

iPhone post.

The floor is out of the house. The concrete is dry and after
Thanksgiving we will start fixing the walls and clearing all the
furniture out to start working on the floor. We were going to have a
wood floor again but might go with stained concrete.... Just an idea.

The good news about our old floor is that when we took it to the dump
it was considered Green Waste, so it will be completly recycled. Very

T tells it like it is


A slight change in plans...

Last week I was working on this blog post about how I was going to maximize the storage in my kitchen to be able to add all this "new" kitchen stuff I inherited. I was taking pictures and making diagrams, but come Sunday night I was too tired to finish it and posted about Sunday brunch or dinner instead.

Maybe it's a good thing because Monday at 4:45am we found a slab leak in our house. You know, when there is a pipe in the foundation (concrete) and it's leaking, up through the WOOD FLOOR! Yep. Fun times. Now instead of finding a way to reorganize the kitchen, we are re-plumbing, tearing up the wood floor, painting (some walls got wet), letting the slab dry and then re-flooring. Did I mention our water has been off since Monday? Fun times.

The good news is that it looks like we are covered under our home-owners policy so we will not be going broke during this process. But that doesn't make it fun. We think we will be in "construction" until after Christmas. Sigh.

I am trying to keep a positive attitude, and I should because it could have been so much worse. T has been taking care of most of it. Well 99% of everything. I just help move things and clean. He has been dealing with insurance and plumbers and floor guys. We rip up floors tomorrow and re-plumbing starts Monday.

Wish me (us) luck!

Originally uploaded by everyAUGUST

Burger Lounge SD

Visiting the in-laws


Sunday - Dinner or Brunch

New tradition. Sunday Brunch or Sunday Dinner with the middle sister every Sunday. Tonight we made dinner, testing out some recipes from the Food & Style blog. Good food and good times!


Tahoe X-mas

This time last year I was planning for Paris, finding an apartment, booking airfare and dreaming of my summer vacation.

This time, this year I have hardly thought of travel. The problem might be because I was going to take an Airstream trip on the years I didn't "go abroad" but T wanted to take an Airstream trip the same summer I went to Paris. So I had a great summer, but now I am having a hard time planning for something this summer. And when it starts to get dark early and colder, planning a summer adventure is like a light at the end of the tunnel. I kind of need a light at the end of the tunnel today. Sigh.

Now it looks like I might get a mini travel adventure in Tahoe for the holidays. Circumstances have thrown my mothers' side of the family together for the last few months and one of my uncles invited all of us to his house in Tahoe for Christmas. Ten people, one week, Tahoe. I am in. I am looking forward to it. I am excited to hang out with the family I have gotten to know over the last few months. It's helping to fill the piece of my heart that is missing. It will be good to start new traditions. It will be good to be with family. It will be good to have an adventure.


How is this helping me lose weight?

Here is a re-cap of a conversation I had recently:

Me: Is hot chocolate a dessert?
Co-worker: Yes.
Me: Really?
Him: At my house we consider it a dessert because we drink it in the evenings. Why?
Me: I have this challenge going with my dad to see who can lose 25 pounds first and I gave up dessert to try to help and I was seeing if hot chocolate was considered a dessert.
Him: How does having a hot chocolate help you lose weight?

Yep. My question got answered. And I have a new mantra; HOW IS THIS HELPING ME LOSE WEIGHT?

For those wondering, my dad is still in the lead with a 12 pound weight loss. He and I were close in the beginning but I have stalled out. It's kind of funny because we all know how to lose weight, eat right and exercise, but how many of us do this? I guess the frustrating part is that I am doing this... I think. I run or walk everyday. I am tracking my calories and what kind of calories I eat (fat, carbs, protein) but still I am not losing as much as my dad. And then I start to think about things I have read or learned somewhere. Things like, "muscle burns more calories then fat", "the body adapts to the same kind of exercise so you burn less calories" and other workout related phrases which boil down to:
Running doesn't make you thin.
Losing weight takes a lot of work
Everyday is about making the best decision I can.

Sorry Hot Chocolate, you and I will not be seeing each other for a while. I need to schedule some quality time developing some muscles.


Pizzeria Ortica

IPhone post.
T is fishing in the Sierras this weekend and after leaving work at 6:30 on Friday I was hungry, tired and in need of a good solution for dinner. The middle sister called and asked if I wanted to try Pizzeria Ortica for dinner. Yes please, and Thank You. This place was great. The food was mouth watering and the atmosphere was swanky. It reminded me of New York. This place was just what I needed.


How I spent my Saturday

I spent my Saturday creating this Flash video. My flash video is much cleaner and bigger. Somehow converting the video to a format the blog can post messed it up. Strange.


a piece of Paris in Southern California

There is / was something magical about the cafes in Paris. Starting my day with a coffee and baguette seemed like a good idea. When I came back to the states the idea of having a baguette for breakfast seemed like a bad idea. We are a little carb crazy over here... and the baguettes taste SO MUCH BETTER in France. If you read my posts about Paris you see we were eating them every day. I hardly ever eat bread here. But the cafes in Paris are not just about bread, they are about sitting and watching the day wake up. They are about good food and company. There is something about them that whispers "it's okay to eat that, sit for awhile, listen to your life" and somehow I found a version of this here in Southern California.

BonJour Cafe was one of the little sisters favorite places to eat when she lived in Dana Point. She was down this past weekend and I suggested we stop by. Now I will say that BonJour Cafe is probably the closest thing we busy Californians are going to find to a Paris Cafe. It is run by french people and the food is delicious. My sister loves the coffee and atmosphere. I love the bread! and those other things. Here are a few iPhone pictures. If you are in Dana Point, I highly recommend you try this place for breakfast. Get there early because it fills up.
Cafe latte


Mushroom Quiche


Blog Notes

Dear Blog,

I have decided its time to put a few things in writing. First I commit to writing once a week. I seem to be doing this, but I just wanted to let you know. Next I thought I should define what I write about. I mostly READ food blogs and was excited to see some of my favorites got nominated for awards over at Foodbuzz. Secretly I wish I could be a food blogger but I think it would take too much time, and time is not something I have a lot of right now. Instead, I'm going to try to be a food blogger once a month. I think I can do this. I'm going to start easy with recipes from a magazine or cookbook to get the photographing while cooking thing down. At least I will be encouraged to try new recipes.

I'm trying to stay with the theme of "travel, eat or find a farmers market" but I seem to be stretching it a bit. Yes, I count running as "traveling" and posts about food (even if it has to do with losing weight) are still posts about eating; and I love to eat.... and cook and travel. I guess these are good themes.

Just thought I should let you know so we are on the same page. See you next week.


What's up Salt Lake City?

I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah "on business". Or for work? But not for fun. Or because I thought it might be a good weekend to hop on a plane to Salt Lake City. No I am here for serious learning.

But that didn't stop me from taking a little walk around the city. Where I saw this:

And ate here:

And saw this on my walk home.

And don't forget Salt Lake City was the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

I guess the moral of the story is, no matter where or why we find ourself in a new place, we should always take a little time to look around.


1000 mile challenge

I think I can I think I can think I can.....

NO. I will I will I will.

I will finish the 1000 mile running challenge. Even if it means I am running 5 miles a day Monday - Friday and 10 on Saturday. (I gave myself Sundays off.) I will, I will, I will, I will finish this crazy running challenge my sister though up last New Years'. She decided we needed to run more and said we should run 1000 miles in 2009. I signed on. We were doing great until Paris. Then my iPod (we use Nike+ to track miles)broke in Paris and I find myself really behind. But I have decided to up my running and complete the challenge.

It will also help with my challenge with my dad

(And if you are following the 25pound challenge, my dad was in the lead as of this morning but we went to an all you can eat buffet and I did much better then he did, so we will see what next week holds.)

I did finish the 1000 mile challenge and so did the Middle Sister. We ran 150 miles in November to do it!


Bring it on DAD!!!!

Are you like me? Trying to lose the "freshman 15" that turned into the 30year old "25 pounds". No? Just me?

Wow. Twenty-five pounds feels like a lot. And it is when I need to really watch what I eat and switch up my exercise to keep my body guessing.

Dirty DAD!

Turns out we both want to lose 25 pounds so he challenged me to see who can lose it first. Thanks Dad, who knows when i might eat dessert again? The challenge has not been clearly defined but it goes something like this.

First person to lose 25 pounds wins and the person who keeps it off for a year wins.

Now I think my dad will drop weight faster than I will but I think he will plateau and I might pass him. I will definitely beat him in the long run because I am stubborn and will keep the weight off.

This challenge has made me evaluate every bite of food I even think about eating.

It is a good thing to have this challenge, but I say Bring it on DAD. I am not going to let you beat me!


Santa Rosa day 2

iPhone Post.
Day 2 was suposed to find us canoeing down the Russian River but when we woke up to thunder, ligtning and rain that idea got scratched. Instead we went to the local farmers market (a 2 minute walk) checked out the outlets in Petaluma, drove around the historical district in Santa Rosa and walked around downtown. For dinner we tried a pizza and wine bar called Rosso. Amazing place. I loved everything. The night ended with a trip to a bar downtown to meet my sisters' roommates' friend and view the night life.


Santa Rosa day 1

iPhone post.

The middle sister and I are up in Santa Rosa visiting the little sister. She moved up here about a month ago and we really miss her. We flew in last night and started our day with a 5mi walk around Howarth / Spring Lake Park and breakfast at the Omlette Express. We spent the rest of the day wine tasting and exploring the area.
Tomorrow a canoe trip!


This is not a blog about work.

If you have been here a while you know this is not a blog about work. Or a blog about school... which I have started again. This blog is about what I do with my time when I am not doing those things, mainly eating, traveling and going to farmers markets. I am actually wondering if I should start doing restaurant reviews.... but I am straying off topic. What I wanted to talk about today was being a member of Generation X.

Until last year I never paid attention to the gen x thing. I actually always thought of myself as being on the border between gen x and gen y. According to the break down of ages this is where I fall on most charts. But last year at work they had a speaker who talked about all the different generations (traditional, baby boomers, gen x, gen y and the millennials) and how different each generation is/ was and how to better serve the populations I come in contact with. It was fascinating and actually created some issues between the baby boomers and gen x folks. Crazy, and very enlightening. Because I try to stick with the positive vibe stuff on this blog I am going to point out something that I do that is a gen x thing. I play hard. I work hard too, but when my day is over I do not bring work home, think about work or let work tell me how I am going to spend my weekend. When I leave work physically I also leave work mentally. I actually park my car far away from my office so I can process any thoughts I need to before I get on the road. Most nights on my drive home I am thinking about dinner.

Now if you read this blog you know I "play hard" and by play hard I mean live the adventure/life I want to live. My summer was amazing and am gathering ideas for the next trip.

It was funny to realize this work hard play hard thing was a gen X trait. I have always had the philosophy that life is too short to wait to fulfill my dreams.

I guess this was on my mind because work thoughts are slipping through my brain a little this weekend. It's funny, because I will identify the thought as work related and let it slip away. My mind is truelly on weekend mode..... am I am greatful it is. Worrying about work or things out of my control would ruin my weekend. And that's no way to prepare for a work week = ).......


Video: San Onofre Surf with the Family

San O with Jacksons from everyAugust on Vimeo.

My favorite foods for Fall

Yes we are having very warm weather in CA right now but the other day I found myself thinking of my favorite foods for Fall. They are foods that require an oven or to be cooked on the stove top for an extended length of time. They will not be making an appearance until we have cooled down a bit, but suddenly I was thinking of roast chicken. Stuffed with lemons and rosemary and garlic. With sweet potato fries or roasted red potatoes layed under the chicken and cooked in its juice. Maybe some lentil soup made with the lentils I got in Paris, or Ina Gartens Chicken Chili. My Fall comfort foods are whispering my name. I need to check out the farmers market tomorrow to see what is changing because as sad as I am to see summer go, it's things like roast chicken that make me look forward to Fall.


Looks like August is over....

Wow. I had an amazing summer.
I went to Paris for a month.
I visited 7 states on my way to Yellowstone National Park.
I saw my first bear, moose, elk, thermal feature and buffalo.

It was pretty spectacular, but now it is over. I have been at work all week and start school tomorrow. It cruelly feels like summer is over mentally even though it is hot and the beach is calling. I guess I just need to focus on my favorite things about fall. As a symbol of this summer ending, I have changed the blog banner. These trips have been taken and it is time to start planning for next August!


YNP: Day 19- the drive home with Samson

The long drive home started before dawn and Samson was so tired he crashed just as the sun came up. Our drive was uneventful so I thought I would use this last post to highlight Samson. He is such a good traveler.


YNP: Day 18- Goodbye Wyoming

Today we started our two day trek home. As I type this on my phone we are in Beaver, Utah parked between two loud semi-trucks at a truck stop. It is a long cry from the national parks we just left, but I have a feeling the biggest culture shock will come tomorrow back in California.

We got on the road around 7:30 and the buffalo didn't want us to go so they created another traffic jam, just for us. Thanks guys....

YNP: Day17- I went to the Spa!

Go ahead and judge me if you want but when T and I drove by this Spa I suddenly really needed a massage, and facial, and..... well a shower that wasn't a camping shower. I had lasted 17 days with all this hiking and outdoor stuff and I Just Really Wanted a Shower. It kind of helped that T wanted to go fishing and had to check some stuff on the Airstream. So after a late breakfast he dropped me off and I had a great day at the spa. I took four separate showers!


YNP: Day 16- Canoe the Grand Tetons

T wanted to take a canoe trip so we rented a canoe and checked out the campsites and views from String and Leigh Lake. Me, I am not a canoe-er; T, he used to do canoe backpacking trips and was planning our next adventure. Me, not sure about this next plan but the views from the lake were amazing and I had a good time until we had to paddle back in the wind. That is when I thought I might not be a canoe-er.

Here are some pictures from T's camera:

YNP: Day 15- Grand Tetons

Our day started before dawn and we saw a bull moose in our campground on the way out. My first moose, about 30 feet away. Then we saw some antelope and had a buffalo traffic jam in the way to photograph a barn with the Tetons (mountains) in the background. I shot this little house (pictured). It was time for breakfast so we headed to the Jenny Lake Lodge and then did the String and Leigh Lake hikes were I saw a BEAR about 30 feet away. The day ended with a nice ribeye under the stars.


The Moose in the campground.

Hiking String and Leigh Lakes.


YNP: Day 14- Drive to Grand Tetons

We left early today to drive south to Grand Tetons National Park. We took the south exit from Yellowstone and hit MAJOR road construction for the next 40mi or so. It was slow going. We finally made it to the Grand Tetons and got a campsite at Gros Ventre. Then we headed to Jackson Hole and had some dinner.

Here is a video T made when we got to our campsite.


YNP: Day 13- It's all about the fish

Our last day in Yellowstone was all about fishing. T has taken up fly fishing and on day 13 we went fishing. I brought a chair and a book and T fished. He caught a few and then we headed over to the firehole river to check out a swimming hole. It was beautiful and warm and right across the way some fish were jumping so back to the car for some more fishing! T caught his biggest fish here and we had a great time. We closed out our time here with dinner at the Old Faithful Inn. It was an awesome day...


YNP: Day 12- West Yellowstone

West Yellowstone is the town located just before the west entrance to YNP. We headed there on day 12 to do some laundry. The laundry place had wifi and hot showers too. Score! There was a classic car show going the same day we were there so we checked it out, and looked at some fly shops and then it was time for lunch. We cruised back to the camp site about three. I took a nap and was awaken by hail!

So it was kind of a mellow day and T and I agree that we both really like West Yellowstone.


Fly shop.

Car Show.


YNP: Laundry has WiFi

I just added some pictures and video to days 6 and 7 and 8. Check them out!

YNP: Day 11- North Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs

On Day 11 we drove to the North Entrance and Gardiner, MT. We checked out Mammoth Hot Springs and saw a Grizzly Bear on the way home! (Sorry no picture of the Grizzly)

North Entrance to the Park, the Roosevelt Arch.

Mammoth Hot Springs: